Categorized | Mark Timmons

My Crystal Ball

My Crystal Ball

Some people say I am too optimistic and that I always predict career years for the Dodgers, so I thought I’d post what I said last year.  This is from a February 16, 2009 post, which was BEFORE O-Dog and Manny were signed:

1B- James Loney is quietly becoming a force at 1B.  He will win a Gold Glove soon and should be a .300 hitter with 20 HR and 100 RBI.  That puts him near the top at his position.

2B- Blake DeWitt will be the official starter, but Mark Loretta will start against tough LH pitchers.  I predict that this platoon will produce a BA of .270/20 HR and 70 RBI from the #8 hole.

SS- If Rafael Furcal stays healthy, he is one of the top impact players in the game.

3B- Casey Blake provides a very important mental toughness which will help his young teammates.  The versatility of DeWitt (2B, 3B) and Blake (3B, 1B, LF, RF) allows Joe Torre to “rest”  Russell Martin at 3B on certain days.  Blake could also see some time in LF.

LF- Andre Ethier will be a year better and I project him at .300/25/100.  He is an excellent LF as well, with a very good arm.  He’s not as soft as he once was.

CF – Juan Pierre has to play here.  He’s not the greatest CF ever, but he covers more ground than Kemp and has more experience.  He needs to play there if Manny is not signed.

RF – Matt Kemp is possibly the offensive key to our season.  If he continues to improve, and realizes more of his potential (he reported with the pitchers and catchers to Spring Training), he will not be  just be the Bison, but he’ll also be the Monster.  I expect him to hit near .300 with 25-30 HR and 110 RBI from the Cleanup Spot.  He will also have about 15-20 Outfield Assists.

C-  This will be the year that Russell Martin distances himself from most other catchers in baseball.   His hitting and defense will be elevated, but most importantly, he will become the Dodgers captain.

OK, how did I do?  Loney was short of .300  and while he did have 90 RBI, his power didn’t yet amnifest itself, but I wasn’t far off.  O-Dog played 2B so I am returning to my prediction at 2B for DeWitt and Carroll.  Raffy had a bad year – I don’t know if it was injury related but it wasn’t good.  Blake was what he was.  I “underestimated”  Ethier and “overestimated” Martin.    My prediction on Kemp was pretty accurate.

So, where’s the beef?

In the same post I said:

This team is a lot better than most of you think, even without Manny!  For the record, if Manny doesn’t sign with us, it will be with the Yankees, which would make more of their outfielders available.  I still don’t see anyone beating the Dodgers offers to Manny because baseball expects to be hurting this year.  The Dodgers have sold half of the season tickets they projected for spring training and all the teams realize that with the economy more and more people will cut back on games and cut back on what they buy at the park.  You are kidding yourself if you think someone will pay Manny more than the Dodgers – certainly not the Giants!  One final thing.  If Manny doesn’t sign, we still can sign Orlando Hudson and put him at 2B, move Dewitt to 3B and platoon Blake and Pierre in the OF.  Just a thought…

You never know how things will play out, but I wasn’t too far off!

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

38 Responses to “My Crystal Ball”

  1. Blue Haze says:

    Happy New Year!!!

    I was able to help a family, down the street, move their furniture into a truck. Never met them before, figures, I should have introduced myself long ago. Trashed by bad back, but it was worth it to help them out.

    Anyone else have a story of kindness to share?

    Mark, I guess you got a passing grade on your predictions, some good, some close, some not so good. We will let you continue.

  2. Badger says:

    “OK, how did I do?”

    You have done worse. Like your projections for this coming year. And I think last February most of us were in agreement – “this is the year”.

    And it wasn’t. We came close with a very good team, but the missing piece was picked up by the team that clocked us.

    You understimated Ethier? You had him in lf hitting .300. You underestimated his HR, but had his RBI’s right. You had Kemp, but don’t even have Manny on the team. I don’t see anyone else there that you nailed. Of course, none of us are right about everything.

    So put up those predictions for this year again. I have been chopping wood, and now I have to go help a disabled friend get rid of his tree (and chop some wood for him) so when I get back I want to come in here and have a good laugh.

    I’ll go through my predictions later. And, you and I need to talk mover, but today I am booked. We are having a Rose Bowl party this afternoon. GO DUCKS!

    Speaking of that, I am extremely disappointed in the Pac 10′s performance this year. Last year they were perfect, this year – not so much.

  3. Badger says:

    OK I’m back and prepared to make the rest of you laugh.

    Furcal – .275 .750 OPS no longer a base stealing threat

    Martin – .270 .765 OPS still shows little power but good defensively

    Loney – .290 20 HR .800 OPS

    Kemp – .300 .900 OPS 30/30 Club

    Ramirez – .295 25 HR’s .890 OPS

    Ethier – just what he did last year with 10 points added to his BA

    Blake – .255 15 HR’s 70 RBI’s

    DeWitt – .250 .700 OPS

    Billingsley will be the only Dodger pitcher with 200+ IP. Kershaw will get 14 wins and pitch 190 innings. Kuroda won’t last the year. The bullpen will again be a strength. The bench doesn’t scare anyone. And other than Kemp, nobody on this team runs.

    Nobody in the Dodger top prospect list (Withrow, Lambo, Windblown, Russell, Gordon) will contribute this year. One or more might be used in a desperation deadline move, but I still say we could be sellers. And frankly if McLien is still the owner we may need to sell before what talent we do have walks.

    There you go.

  4. Ken says:

    W.C. Fields “I might be drunk but you are crazy. I will be sober tommorrow but you will be crazy for the rest of your life!!”

    Mark we all agree that the Dodgers might be “competitive” in the Wide Card race but we expect a lot more from the Dodgers and their ownership.

  5. lawdog says:

    Pretty much agree with Badger, but I think he’s projecting too high an average and too many hrs and rbis for Geezer Blake at third. Blake really started to disappear last season in the late months. I don’t think that was an aberration. I think Casey is toast and his signing wild dog us for two more years until we can finally cut his old fat ass loose. De Witt tailed off last year and I expect more of the same since he’s playing out of position at second base. He’s obviously uncomfortable there and it effects his offense dramatically. Cut Blake and eat all that ridiculous money Ned gave to him last off season and move DeWitt there and we’ll be much better off.

    The Blake extension will ultimately be remembered as the most felony stupid move made by Ned since Andruw and Schmidt.

  6. Blue Haze says:

    It will be very difficult to top the Jones and Schmidt signings.

  7. lawdog says:,file=48

    A sign that the Dogs will be World Champs next season–check it out!!!

  8. lawdog says:

    I knew I’d see that some day in my lifetime. So many peoiple are constantly talking about it.,file=48

  9. Badger says:

    Yeah, well I am being optimistic about all those numbers. And all of that is if everyone stays on the field all year. Blake’s avg. actually surprised my last year, but he does connect occasionally and when he does the ball goes a long way. If he can stay on the field for 500 plate appearances, I see 15 HR. It would not surprise me if he goes down mid season. If Carroll wins the 2b job, that avg. will be .260, so compared to last year, I see 2b as a hole, both offensively and defensively. 2b, 3b and SP will not be as good next year. Our record will not be as good either.

    Nice pig. I see you got if off a SOSAR site. D*^# Rams.

  10. lawdog says:

    Yeah, I kept posting in response to ridiculously optimistic posts about our dear Lambs with a comment like: “You bet! The Rams will contend for the Super bowl again, when pigs fly!” With my usual, whimsical, witty comical air (that angers a lot of true believers for some unknown reason.) One such poster on the Herd board, (which is the best fan board for the Rams if you’re looking for one), finally produced hat fabulous pig with the angel wings in response to my cynicism.

    I laughed so hard I literally almost busted a gut.

  11. lawdog says:

    I’m being screamed at on the Rams board for telling everybody I’ll be rooting against the Rams for the first time in 52 years to make sure they lose and win the Sir Suh draft chip in the 2010 draft. Some go so far as to threaten violence to my person through the magic of the computer monitor for saying such things in public. Others quietly agree with me but hope they won’t get flamed as well for doing so..

    Does that make me a bad fan? Just curious what other, rational fans think. The average Ram fan is not too rational and probably checks in with an IQ around 80. (I think the anger and intellectually challenged minds are more a product of being from St. Looie more than rooting for the Lambs.)

  12. Badger says:

    If it was any other team than the 49ers, I would too. But, I just can’t root for the 9ers to win. If the Rams win, I’ll take the second best DT – McCoy. But, I don’t think they will. BTW, the average Rams fan IQ used to be higher.

    Geez, another Pac 10 loss. 2-5. That suprises the heck out of me. I guess maybe they aren’t the best conference in college football.

  13. lawdog says:

    But consider this Badger–TB is considering trading it’s #1 pick overall and it’s two high second rounders to whoever has the rights to Suh. If we beat the whiners there’s a good chance that team would become the Detroit Lions. If the Rams lose to the farty whiners. we get the Suh chip in the draft.

    If we made that trade the Rams would have 4 picks in the top 40 players taken, and the first selection in rounds 3-6 as well as an extra fifth. Plus, they’d have the #4 overall selection with TBs first rounder. That could transform the team into a .500 club in one season if Devaney makes decent picks. And this draft is of such high quality and is so deep that even a cave man could make decent picks drawing names out of a hat.

    Do we give all that up just to beat the whiners in a game that means absolutely nothing otherwise? A lot to lose for a hallow win, don’t you think?

    Aww hell, the Rams are so bad they couldn’t possibly beat the whiners this year if their lives depended on it. I’m worrying about nada.

  14. Bill Russell says:

    I agree with what Romo says.

  15. Badger says:

    “I agree with what Romo says.”

    That’s interesting. Are you two talking privately?

    Yeah, I read all that ldog. It’s just talk. Trading the top pick is very rare, and the Rams need plenty, but I still think they lose on Sunday and Suh is the pick. They won’t pass up talent like that.


    Yeah, I agree. Alabama and Florida can beat anybody else.

  16. Ken says:

    Matt Kemp – Is your agent smarter than a 5th grader? If so he will not allow you to sign a long-term deal with the Dodgers until 2013.

    McDonald is pitching like Scott Erickson in Winter ball.. Hey Ned any progress on finding a number 4 and 5 pitcher???

  17. Badger says:

    “We’ve got to figure out if it even makes sense to do a multiyear. The club is looking for something, the player is looking for something. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a meeting of the minds. In that case, we’re fine doing it one year at a time.” (Fred)

    Kemp is one of nine Dodgers eligible for arbitration this winter and one of five eligible for the first time in their careers. Traditionally, the Dodgers do not lock up their young players in multiyear deals, preferring to have the player prove his value each season until he reaches the free-agency criteria of six years service time.

    Locking up top position players like Kemp, Andre Ethier and James Loney would provide the Dodgers with a degree of cost certainty at a time when the club is watching its payroll carefully.

    “We’d be open-minded in the right situation,” said general manager Ned Colletti. “It has to maketo make sense for both sides, and that’s a thin rope to walk.”

    Thin rope to walk? Since when do you walk on a thin rope? And the barely visible thin rope here is the micro-thread connected to the Dodger checkbook. I would think all those players involved in arbitration are being advised to take this one year at a time and watch the ownership issue very closely. I am not a lawyer but that sure seems like an easy call to make.

  18. Badger says:

    Ellis in for Martin?

    If that happens, the offense just got weaker.

    “Oh how sweet it is!! The Dodgers out of money!! A Giant fan can only hope the divorce drags out in court for months…..”

    The one comment at the end of Ken’s Gurnick piece.

    I don’t feel so good. I think I better go lay down.

  19. lawdog says:

    Many Giants fans have eyes that can see what’s going on with Dodger management, even if a lot of Dog fans choose to remain blind to the situation.

  20. lawdog says:

    Don’t bring me no more hot stovbe reports. This team ain’t gonna trade folr anybody that’s worth more than a plugged nickel. Not as long as Perfectly is raping the payroll. Let me know when the season is over if we managed to play .500 ball with the hand we were dealt by Perfectly and Meanie.

    I think I’ll go take a nap. Wake me if we get a new owner that wants to win. :shock:

  21. Roger Dodger says:

    Thanks Ken for the article.

    Badger, but Ellis has a sweet throw to 2nd base. On Martin’s best day, he cannot come close to Ellis.

    We are off the the ALMAO BOWL. 1st row seats on the 25 yard line. Our friends that go with us every year, have a sign to her mother who is 90, and she is going to hold it up. That way you can spot us. (I am not the 90 year old mother.)

  22. Badger says:

    I hope you are right Roger, but Martin actually had a decent CS % and a great CERA. The Dodgers also were 1st in the NL in catching runners stealing. A.J. Ellis is going to be 29 in April. If he was all that, he would have been catching for someone in the Bigs a long time ago.

    I will look for you at the game, but you didn’t tell us what the sign says. I’ll look for a sign with 90 on it. Did you wear your Dodgertalk t-shirt?

  23. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, ya I know he would be catching somewhere by 29, but I took one of Mark’s pills — and it makes me say nice things about catchers — and has them built up a bit.

  24. Badger says:

    Man, you fans were pretty hard on James last night. What’s with all the love for that Leach feller? The players are not at all upset he is gone.

    Martin is the Dodger catcher. If he can just relax and focus on what it is he needs to do, he should be fine. He is not a power hitter and the sooner he realizes he is more important to the team as an offensive supplement the better he, and the Dodgers will be. Hit .270 with a .365 OBP, keep your CS over 30% and your CERA exactly where it is (good luck with that) and all will be right in your blue world. The Dodgers need to keep offensive players around him and get some pitchers he can control. If Martin continues to think he needs to pull the ball he will continue to hit .250 with a lot of ground ball outs to the shortstop. Hitting 101, don’t pull the outside pitch. Go to right with it. When he does that, he will get back to where he was a couple of years ago.

    Not a lot to talk about these days is there.

  25. Ken says:

    “Dear God, you made many, many poor owners.
    I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor.
    But it’s no great honor either!
    So, what would have been so terrible if I had just a little money?”

    If I were a rich man,
    Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
    All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
    If I were a wealthy man.
    I wouldn’t have to leverage all my properties.
    Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
    If I were a biddy biddy rich,
    Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

    I’d build a great team with World Series pennants by the dozen,
    Won in the middle of the Fall.
    A fine rotation with three real aces
    There would be one rookie after another just coming up,
    And a few old veterans going down,
    And one all-star on the bench, just for show.

    I’d fill my bullpen with hurlers and knuckleballers and Eephus pitchers
    For Dodger town to see and cheer.
    Cheering just as noisily as they can.
    With each loud “cheep” “swaqwk” “honk” “quack”
    Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
    As if to say “Here comes another World Series win.”

    If I were a rich man,
    Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
    All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
    If I were a wealthy man.
    I wouldn’t have to leverage all my properties.
    Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
    If I were a biddy biddy rich,
    Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

    I see my ex-wife, my Beans, wanting to be a rich man’s wealthy ex-wife
    With her proper double-chin eliminated with cosmetic surgery.
    Holding parties to her heart’s delight.
    I see her putting on fine clothes and strutting like a peacock.
    Oy, what a happy mood she’s in.
    Hanging out with young men, day and night.

    The most important owners in MLB would come to fawn on me!
    They would ask me to advise them,
    Like a Solomon the Wise.
    “If you please, Reb Tevye…”
    “Pardon me, Reb Tevye…”
    Posing problems that would cross a rabbi’s eyes!

    And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong.
    When you’re rich, they think you really know!

    If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack
    To sit in the press box and count my pennants.
    And maybe have a seat in the Commissioners office.
    And I’d discuss how to make money with the other owners, several hours every day.
    That would be the sweetest thing of all.

    If I were a rich man,
    Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
    All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
    If I were a wealthy man.
    I wouldn’t have to leverage all my properties.
    Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
    If I were a biddy biddy rich,
    Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

    Lord who made the Yankees and the Phillies,
    You decreed I should be what I am.
    Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?
    If I were a wealthy man.

  26. Roger Dodger says:

    What bothers me is the talk around Dodgerland — that the money is so tight, that instead of paying a few bucks for a decent pitcher, the Dodgers would probably have to trade a player like Martin for a pitcher.

    That is like saying, I feel I need a new car — I have to trade in my old car and one child to get the new car.

  27. lawdog says:

    Perfectly wants to trade his car and ex-wife for a geezing former all star pitcher.

  28. Badger says:

    Trading Martin for a pitcher is, in my opinion, stupid. That’s addition by subtraction and if we have nobody to replace him, and I am not counting a 29 year old .077 hitter as a replacement, then we need to get pitching another way. And that way is? – look around the organization right now folks. What you see is what we are going to get come February. I am sure Fred is scouring the planet looking for a Fernando type guy who can eat up some innings and keep the team close enough that a 5 run homer would tie the game – but, good luck with that Jed.

  29. Blue Haze says:

    Hello, THE DODGERS ARE STANDING PAT (hmmm, where have I heard that before?)

    Go SF GIANTS SOUTH! (hmmm, where have I heard that before?)

  30. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, remember some of the old tried arms the Dodgers has in Spring Training last year that we watched. That probably set a record for inviteeeees with tired arms to any one spring

  31. Badger says:

    Yeah, I remember some of them – Schmidt, Milton, Estes, Vargas…..

    who am I forgetting?

    It will be the same next month. I think we will see Elbert, McDonald, Stults and Haeger competing for one, maybe even two spots and there will be a few somebodys like Smoltz invited.

    The Dodgers cannot afford to do much, so, standing pat is their first priority. I’ll bet they are hoping two of the young guys step right in.

  32. Roger Dodger says:

    Funny how things go. Mark writes how great the winning streak of the last several years of the Dodgers have been. Winning and playing in the post season. Better than ever before. (Although I pointed out that prior to expansion and then the wild card — it was only two teams in the post and not six teams).

    But these great Dodgers cannot even make a solid basic trade or free agent signing because of ownership problems. Said that as club has slipped so low.

    Next year, unless the Dodger staff makes some new moves (which I doubt), the West will be tougher than they think. Rockies, D-Backs, Giants, and maybe even the Pads will be better stronger —- and we will not have that lopsided record against the Rockies as we did in 2009.

  33. Badger says:

    I think McHandcuffed would love to be able to follow through on his Chavez Ravine development program (remember that) and then there is the cable deal that will no doubt be lucrative – but until we know who owns the Dodgers (more on that soon) we are basically on hold. Of course we hope all will be well when the divorce dust settles, but anyone who has been through that process knows it is not possible to be whole after splitting assets. The question for me still remains, how long before the standing owner gets enough buying leverage back to keep this team competitive with those other franchises that are always in the running. We all know who they are and every one of them have owners that are solvent. Will McWhoever take on a silent partner (silent in that they won’t speak much) or will the proposed development bring in enough cash? I wonder if Jamie will still want a piece of that as she was there for the conception. Just more dust that needs to settle.

    The Dodgers still have potential to be amongst the elite franchises in all of baseball. But, not this year. It would take a miracle (and they happen) for the Dodgers to be NL Champs next year. At this moment, I wonder if they are even favorites in the division. Maybe.

    So what we have to talk about now, and likely for another month and half, is who the Dodgers will have to trade to get another pitcher. Martin is the likely candidate because he will make near $5 million in arbitration. Who takes his place behind the plate? Nobody really, probably of a platoon of back-ups. I just don’t know.

  34. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, I went out in the back yard yesterday afternoon, and tried a few throws to the distance of home to 2nd — and I have to announce here and now — I don’t have it any more and I will retire today at 12 noon, central standard time.

    I have advised ESPN and the MLB channel of this event. My wife is making a few cookies incase they send a rep.

  35. Badger says:

    My shoulder and elbow went south a coule of years, but I can still reach 2b. If they play by softball rules I can throw somebody out. I think I might be able to hit .077 – just waiting for the fastball and going up the middle with it should accomplish that.

    But, I hope the Dodgers find better alternatives than a couple of old goats like us.

  36. Badger says:

    man, if I throw as bad as I type, I won’t be able to get the ball back to the mound……


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